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Hello Caroline! To start, please quickly introduce yourself.
Hello. My name is Caroline Lepron. I was part of the 2008 graduating class in the Cesemed programme at Euromed Marseille. I’m currently living in Sydney, where I’ve just launched my start-up, Skoutli.
What does your job entail? What are your duties?
Skoutli is a platform on which photographers, influencers, or advertising agencies can rent spaces for shootings or filming. Individuals can rent their kitchens, bathrooms, swimming pools, or their vehicles to professionals at an hourly rate. I created this start-up a month ago, and we’ve just gotten our first bookings!
As to what I do, I’m in charge of all of the start-up’s management. I handled the launching and registration of the business. On a day-to-day basis, I have a team who helps me develop the actual platform, but as founder I handle the financial and business side as much as I do the marketing side.
Tell us about your time at KEDGE? What did you study?
I went through KEDGE’s International BBA programme. I started off attending school for a year and a half, then did an internship in events management in Monaco for six months. This first experience taught me a lot and that's how I realised I was interested in the field of event management. After that, I studied at a university in Mexico for a year. For my fourth year, I had to do an internship abroad. I sent my CV to several companies in several different countries, and was accepted for an internship in Sydney Australia. I didn’t know the country at all, but I decided to go for it! After the six-month internship was over, I wanted to finish my studies in Australia, so I did my M2 in Sydney.
How did KEDGE help you develop and reach your goals?
My participation with the student association managing partnerships and events at the student union brought me a lot. That gave me the chance to experience the professional world in the field that I liked.
Also, the programme that I did at school gave me an amazing introduction to the world. Having done part of my studies in Australia and Mexico, and having done an internship in Sydney, just confirmed that I wanted to work abroad!
The KEDGE community is also very important. During my different experiences living abroad, I was able to meet a lot of local Kedgers, and that helped me make a number of both personal and professional relationships.
How long have you been an expatriate?
I’ve lived abroad for 11 years now!
What were your reasons for moving to Sydney?
I made the choice to move to Sydney when I was doing my fourth-year internship. I had found myself here by chance and I immediately loved the city! Here, everything is possible and the quality of life is great. I go to the beach by bike, and I take the ferry to town, passing some dolphins and whales from time to time... . Sydney is heaven on earth!
What surprised you the most about this country?
When I got here and told people that I had a Master, the Australians were impressed. In Australia, getting an education isn’t as pushed as it is in France. It’s very different, because in France it’s hard to get a good position without a BAC+5 (high school + 5 years of higher education)
Another thing I found surprising is related to friendships with Australians. They are wonderful and very open, but it’s true that you connect more with expatriates than you do with locals. It’s harder make friends with Australians.
What are your future plans?
I’ve just launched my start-up, and it’s my priority at the moment. I want to develop it and I’d like to - in the medium-term - launch it in Europe with a team there that would manage the region.
Is there any other country where you’d like to live and why?
I love San Diego! Before moving to Australia, I could see myself living there. If not, I’d say Mexico. My experience there let me discover a wonderful culture, and people are really lovely. Unfortunately, it is becoming less and less secure there.
What advice would you give to a student or recent graduate who might consider trying a similar challenge?
Go for it! Living abroad is a very enriching experience. I think that it’s very important to go exploring with a rucksack to other countries, but it’s also important to try out different jobs.
And no matter where you are, if you want to work in the world of start-ups, do it. You can work on several projects over more or less long periods of time - start-ups always need help! This will give you the chance to experience it for yourself and see if it is right for you.
Interview conducted in Sydney by Emma and Manon, KEDGE Alumni Travel Pro-Act students.